A Few Quick Questions With…Chuck Waldron

For part two of The CleanSweep Conspiracy tour, I got Chuck Waldron to A some Qs.

Why Canada? Is it because the U. S. would be the obvious and/or easy choice? Or is there something else going on?
Who would expect something like The CleanSweep Conspiracy can take place in a city known as “Toronto the Good?” After all, Toronto is part of a nation known and respected for civility, peace, and good government.

The story is completely a figment of my imagination. I could have used many places, but chose to keep it in Toronto. The setting in the original manuscript was a North American fictitious city. Since the inspiration for The CleanSweep Conspiracy was an event that took place in Toronto in 2010, I decided to rewrite my novel and let Toronto be the location.

I hope there are checks and balances in both Canada and the United States that will prevent something like this from ever happening. That said, I do believe there is an undercurrent in our society that keeps the thought of something like The CleanSweep Conspiracy a possibility.

Then again…

Clifford’s line: “Techies like you never think past high-tech solutions,” sounds like an oft-repeated aphorism. Is Clifford your cameo? If not, is there a Chuck Waldron-like character in this book?
Clifford my cameo? Maybe. According to research I’ve read, I’m of an age that should make me technologically phobic. Instead, I seem to embrace each new gadget, app, or program. At least I like to kick the tires. It may be an oft-repeated aphorism as you say, but as much as I like technology, I sometimes fear we give up part of our humanness when we reach for the high-tech cloud-world.

Part of Clifford’s role in the story was to really know Mattie. He was the link between her and Matt Tremain.

If Clifford is my cameo, I thank him for the honor.

How much of the plot (especially the conspiracy) did you have worked out before starting, and how much did you figure out mid-stream? Is this the way you normally go about things?
I lived with the idea for over two years before I started to think of an outline. I’m not sure where the conspiracy part came into it. I don’t jump on conspiracy theories like the FEMA trailers that will be turned into concentration camps. I don’t waste a lot of time thinking about Area 51.

My novel was simply a what-if idea that started to take shape as a story.

Writers talk about writing by plot or by the seat-of-the-pants. I usually have a rough outline, but I tend to be the latter. I like to let my characters dictate their story as I go along.

For me, if a character isn’t well developed it’s hard to carry a storyline.

Who are some of your major influences? (whether or not you think those influences can be seen in your work — you know they’re there)
I was a history major in college. Lawrence E. Gelfand, my professor, is an influence. Ironically he died the same year (2010) as the event that inspired my novel. I tip my hat to the memory of Henrietta Blake, my first writing teacher. She gave me permission to write and assured me I didn’t need a license to be a writer. Writers that have inspired me include Hemingway, John Le Carre, James Lee Burke, William Manchester and much, much more. Like most writers, I’m an avid reader.
What’s next for you? I’m assuming your next book is well underway, what can you tell us?
Two, actually. I’ve never tried it, but I’m working on two storylines that I can’t seem to let go. I like Matt Tremain, the protagonist in The CleanSweep Conspiracy. He just might hang around for another story. On a recent visit to Cuba, I couldn’t avoid thinking about Hemingway and the downward spiral at the end of his life. We all know he committed suicide in Idaho. But what if there is an alternative ending?

Just saying.

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